The fifth edition of Tour of Rwanda will be broadcast live on Supersport everyday from November 17-24.
Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy) president Aimable Bayingana said in a press statement that, “South African based sports television Supersport, TV5 and French television Canal Plus have agreed to broadcast the tour live.”
“From the time we started organizing the Tour of Rwanda, it has been our goal to broadcast it to the world. This means that the cycling competition will be viewed by people in many countries across the world,” added Bayingana.
The seven-stage race will cover a total distance of 819km and three new routes have been introduced including Kigali – Kirehe, Rwamagana – Musanze and Rubavu – Kinigi.
Meanwhile, the race is expected to have 16 teams from different countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Algeria and Gabon.
UCI Continental Center, Eritrea’s AS BE CO, AVAIA Crebbe from Belgium, Novo Nordisk from USA, Algeria’s Sovac, Samsung MTN Qhubeka from South Africa and Rhone Alpes from France are the foreign teams that have confirmed participation.
Rwanda will be represented by three teams including Karisimbi, Akagera and Muhabura. These teams are currently training at the national cycling camp in Musanze.
The two Rwandan riders from UCI Continental Center, Janvier Hadi and Bonaventure Uwizeyimana have also joined camp to prepare for the annual competition.
Rwandan Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti is expected to participate with his team Samsung MTN Qhubeka.
Team Samsung MTN Qhubeka is the first African team to join the second division of world cycling, the highest level from any team on the continent after the International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed its status as a professional continental team for 2013.
Team MTN-Qhubeka is determined to compete on the international arena in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
Professional cyclists like Niyonshuti alongside Africa’s best cyclists including Daniel Teklehaymanot and this year’s African Cycling Champion Natnael Berhane will be in Rwanda to represent the team has a roster of 15 African and 6 international riders.
Team Rwanda has started preparations ahead of the 2013 La Tropicale Amissa Bongo international cycling tour scheduled for January 14-20 in Gabon.
According to the national cycling federation Permanent Secretary, Emmanuel Murenzi the six-man team entered residential camp in Musanze last week.
The team includes; Nathan Byukusenge, 33, Hassan Rukundo, 23, Bonaventure Uwizeyimana, 20, Jean Bosco Nsengiyumva, 20, Valens Ndayisenga, 19, and Jérémie Karegeya, 20.
“We have changed strategy and decided to give the young riders a chance to compete in big competitions. I believe the team will be competitive in the tournament.
It’s a very tough competition as it attracts the best riders on the continent and beyond but we hope our team will do better this time round,” said Murenzi.
Team captain Byukusenge is the most senior rider on the team.
This year’s La Tropicale Amissa Bongo competition will bring together 15 teams, including nine African countries; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco and Rwanda.
Professional teams Europcar (France), Cofidis (France), Lampre-Merida (Italy), Lotto-Belisol (Belgium), Groupement Sportif Oil (Algeria) and Adrien Niyonshuti’s MTN-Qhubeka (South Africa) will take part.
Last year, Team Rwanda finished on 7th position out of 15 teams and secured 3rd position in Africa countries behind Eritrea and Morocco.